Trieste city trip: a relaxing oasis

May, 23 2018

Trieste is a hidden gem of a port city in the north of Italy, not far from the Slovenian border. With Venice as the standout tourist attraction in this part of Italy, Trieste is sometimes unjustly overlooked. Which is a shame! This beautiful city full of cultural and culinary favourites lends itself perfectly to a multifaceted city trip.

Spend the morning admiring art at the Museo Revoltella, then take an afternoon stroll around a market and stop to rest in the Roseto di San Giovanni rose garden. Getting hungry? Grab a table at a restaurant for some delicious seafood and cap off the day with authentic Italian ice cream from Oggi Gelato. As you can see, a visit to Trieste is full of fun and diversity. And the best part is that it’s easy to visit the city from a campsite nearby.

Piazza Unità d’Italia - Trieste

‘Vienna by the sea’

This is a special spot, balanced somewhere between an Italian city and a Central European city, a vibe that Trieste owes to its colourful past. With roots in the Roman Empire and buildings from the time of the Habsburg Empire, the architecture in Trieste is very western. Trieste is also known as ‘Vienna by the sea’ thanks to the chic look of the buildings and the city’s many coffee shops.

Coffee on the square

You can look out on the sea from almost anywhere in the harbour, but the most spectacular is the view from the Piazza Unità d’Italia. The stately buildings that line this large square, including the town hall and Palazzo del Governo, exude the ambience and grandeur of the past. Enjoy a perfect cup of coffee on a terrace at one of the historic cafés located at the square (tip: Caffè degli Specchi) as you watch the hustle and bustle parading in front of your table. It’s a perfect start to your day.

But this isn’t the only place you can go for a delicious brew. The whole city is known for its vibrant café culture, so be prepared to let your taste buds be pampered by Adoro Cafe, Pep’s food & wine or with a stop at Caffè San Marco. Interesting fact: Trieste is the home of coffee giant Illy.

Caffè degli Specchi - Trieste

Trieste, a museum Mecca

Bright eyed and ready for an active day? Then you’ll want to plan a visit to a museum. There is something for everyone in Trieste. You can relive military history at the Civico Museo della Risieradi San Sabba, learn all about trains at the Museo Ferroviario di Trieste Campo Marzio, or contemplate modern art at the Museo Revoltella, where you’ll also get a sense of how Trieste’s wealthy residents once lived.

Even the outskirts of Trieste are full of things to see and do. Castello di Miramare is an impressive castle located about eight kilometres northwest of the city. This fairytale castle, complete with gorgeous gardens, was built in the second half of the nineteenth century as a holiday home for Maximilian of Austria, brother of emperor Francis Joseph I. Later, Empress Elisabeth, famously known as Sissi, lived there. From the castle, which is now part museum, you can enjoy a fantastic view across the Adriatic Sea.

Markets and parks

Italy is, of course, known for the many fashion brands that call the country home. So it would be a shame not to do some shopping during your trip to Trieste, which boasts nearly all of the major brands, plus many unique boutiques. The main shopping street (Via San Nicolò ) is a car-free zone. Fans of vintage, art, and gadgets can visit one of the city markets every third Sunday of the month, like the Mercatino dell’Antiquariato. During the week there are also endless stalls serving up fresh fruit and other delicacies. And in December, the city hosts a big Christmas market!

Mercatino dell’Antiquariato - Trieste

Trieste also has plenty of natural beauty on offer. For example, enjoy the flowers, scents, and colours at Roseto di San Giovanni, a park in the northeast of the city with masses of roses. There’s also a botanical garden nearby, the Civico orto Botanico. Or you could pay a visit to the Giardino Storico di Villa Revoltella and Parco Farneto for a moment of rest surrounded by tranquil green. And after your park strolls, you’ll probably be famished …

Fresh fish and a cool-down

In Italy, you can eat nearly everywhere. The many restaurants in Trieste each have their own unique way of honouring the famous Italian cuisine. Because Trieste is a port city, there’s always plenty of fresh seafood on the menu. Try a glass of local wine, for example a Friuli or Terrano. Some more upscale restaurants can be found on the Grand Canal, like Antico Panada.

In sweltering Italy, a bit of a cool-down is a necessity sometimes. Fortunately, there are dozens of delicious ice cream parlours in Trieste ready to assist. One of the best is Oggi Gelato. The specialty of this famous, decadent purveyor is mascarpone ice cream, but that’s not the only flavour you won’t want to miss. Be sure to try the Pulcinella (made with fresh ricotta, chocolate, pistachio, and orange) or the Notta a Soho (with white chocolate and hazelnuts). The perfect end of the day before you head back to the campsite, full and happy.

Gelato - Trieste

Camping near Trieste

Turn a campsite near Trieste into the ultimate home base for a daytrip to this friendly port city. We’ve put together three tips for you:

– Campsite Mare Pineta Baia Sistiana (20 kilometres from Trieste)

You’ll want for nothing at this four-star campsite just northwest of Trieste. There are several swimming pools, sports fields, and playgrounds. And with more than 500 pitches and 116 rental accommodations, you’ll be spoiled for choice here. You can even give glamping a go. Have a look at a SunLodge Aspen or Redwood.

– Marina Julia Camping Village (30 kilometres f. T.)

A bit further north you’ll find another four-star campsite on the smaller end of the scale. There are 215 pitches and 175 rental accommodations, offering a variety of mobile homes and bungalows, that run the gamut in terms of luxury. Cool off in the large, Olympic swimming pool and then grab a snack in the restaurant. They’ve also recently added a climbing tower for the adventurers.

– Campsite Adria (20 kilometres f. T.)

Trieste is also easily accessible from Slovenian campsites. Campsite Adria is only about 10 kilometres south of Trieste as the crow flies, and the drive takes you along a lovely coastal route. This campsite boasts 300 pitches and 55 rental accommodations on site that are also suitable for larger families, as they can host up to seven people.

Want to discover all the campsites in the region? Click to see the offer of Suncamp holidays.

Tips are welcome

Have you ever been to Trieste and have tips for other campers? We’d love to hear them!

Jeroen Timmermans
  • Auteur: Jeroen Timmermans
  • From Calais to Cannes and from Nantes to Nancy. You could say I explored quite a bit of France in the past. Together with my parents and brother, we'd go camping for weeks on end in a trailer tent at the best campsites. Later, we went through the rest of Europe in a motorhome. Nowadays, I really enjoy cultural city breaks with my wife. Oh yes, despite my fear of heights, I love cliff railways and cable cars.


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